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Briefly around Denton and the Area

Housing offered for adults with disabilities

Denton County families interested in providing community-supported housing for their adult loved ones with disabilities can apply for help through a program offered by the Dallas Housing Authority.

Up to 50 homeowners in Collin, Dallas, Denton, Ellis, Kaufman, Rockwall and Tarrant counties can receive vouchers to set up homes that would be leased by three adults with autism, Down syndrome or other intellectual or developmental disabilities. Project homes must have an agreement with a service provider to support the tenants in living in the community.

The program currently has 53 adults living in permanently supported apartments and homes throughout North Texas.

Applications for new homes in the program are due Monday. More information can be found at http://bit.ly/2d3FUnl.

Some of the current projects have tenant spots available. To learn more, go to www.txcpsh.org/find-housing.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

Denton confirms 15th positive trap for W. Nile

The count of West Nile-positive traps and victims has accelerated this week.

The city announced Thursday its 15th positive trap collected, one day after the county announced two more residents have been infected, bringing to 11 the total number of people who have contracted the virus.

The infected mosquitoes were collected in Robson Ranch near Crestview Drive and Maryland Court on Sept. 6 and later tested positive for West Nile virus. Maps of the city’s 15 positive samples can be viewed at www.cityofdenton.com and the county’s 77 positive samples at www.dentoncounty.com/wnv.

Both maps show the virus is present all around the county. Public health officials consider the risk to human health to be moderate to high and say it will likely remain so until freezing temperatures kill most mosquitoes for the season.

Residents are urged to reduce the amount of standing water around their homes and protect themselves against mosquito bites. More resources are available at the Texas Department of Health Services website at www.dshs.state.tx.us.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

 

Lanes on Sam Rayburn Tollway to be closed

Motorists should prepare for a full closure of southwest-bound lanes on Sam Rayburn Tollway at Interstate 35E in Lewisville this weekend.

Between 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. Sunday, drivers traveling southwest on the tollway will be detoured to northbound I-35E to continue west onto State Highway 121 and then merge back onto the toll road at MacArthur Boulevard, according to 35Express Project officials.

The construction is part of the 35Express Project’s $1.4 billion expansion of Interstate 35/35E from U.S. Highway 380 in Denton County to Interstate 635 in Dallas County. Weather conditions this weekend could delay work, according to officials.

For more details on 35Express construction and traffic alerts, visit www.35Express.org or call 214-483-7777.

— Staff report

 

State Senate Finance Committee begins work

The state Senate Finance Committee convened Thursday to start working on its interim charges.

Thursday’s meeting focused on reforming government contracting, expanding graduate medical education and reducing the burden on taxpayers, said state Sen. Jane Nelson, R-Flower Mound.

Nelson, who is running for re-election in November, is chairwoman of the committee. The committee has been directed to monitor six areas of legislation during the upcoming legislative session, which begins in January. The other charges include phasing out the franchise tax, modernizing technology at state agencies and monitoring reforms at the Health and Human Services Commission.

Committee hearings are open to the public and accept public testimony. You need not travel to Austin to watch the hearings. The schedule and links to video broadcasts are available at http://bit.ly/2czhPT5.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe

 

Paxton intervenes in suit involving school district

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton intervened Thursday in a lawsuit against the White Deer school district, citing state law adopted in 2015.

White Deer schools repealed an optional homestead exemption after the Texas Legislature provided for school property tax relief through the state budget. A taxpayer filed suit against the repeal in Carson County.

Paxton said in a press release that his office intervened in the case to protect the state’s interest in upholding the law that provided property tax relief.

For more information, visit www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.

— Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe